Hammer of the Year Arnautovic called-up by Austria

Marko Arnautovic


Marko Arnautovic has been called-up by Austria for a trio of international friendly matches.

The West Ham United forward, who is the most-experienced in Franco Foda’s squad with 69 caps, will welcome Russia, Germany and Brazil in the lead-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.

While the Burchen themselves did not qualify, Arnautovic and company will play their part in helping the hosts and two of the pre-tournament favourites prepare for the competition.

Russia will visit the Tivoli Stadion in Innsbruck on Wednesday 30 May before Germany are welcomed to the Worthersee-Stadion in Klagenfurt on Saturday 2 May. The game will be shown live in the UK by BT Sport 2, with kick-off at 4.45pm.

Finally, five-times World Cup winners Brazil will be the visitors to the Ernst Happel Stadion in Arnautovic’s home city of Vienna on Sunday 10 May.

With 19 goals, the 29-year-old is also the leading scorer in Foda’s squad, with Bayern Munich’s David Alaba the only other player to hit double figures with 12.

The Hammer of the Year made his debut as long ago as October 2008, when he appeared as a substitute in a World Cup qualifying tie in the Faroe Islands.

The No7 has fond memories of facing Russia, having tasted victory over the World Cup hosts in two UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers. 

He has faced Germany three times, losing all three, but scoring once and assisting twice in those matches, and tackled Brazil once, but the South Americans ran out 2-1 winners in Vienna in November 2014.

Austria missed out on qualification for the World Cup themselves, finishing fourth in a group that also contained qualifiers Serbia, Republic of Ireland and Wales.